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NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

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Rubio 8, Marco Rubio 8, Karl Rove 7, Hagel 6, Obama 5, Chuck Hagel 5, Lyrica 5, Iowa 4, Eugene 4, Jared 4, Boehner 3, Chantix 3, Ted Nugent 3, Karen 3, North Korea 3, Washington 3, Newt Gingrich 2, Benghazi 2, Rove 2, Chuck Schumer 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    February 12, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. speaker john boehner doesn't think president obama has the guts to solve the nation's fiscal woes, but no word on who has an actual backbone. it's february 12th, fat tuesday, and this is "now. owe ". joining me today rick hertzberg of "the new yorker," msnbc political analyst and pulitzer prize winning columnist for the washington post, eugene robinson making his debut, senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities, jared bernstein, and msnbc political analyst and former dnc
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communications director karen finney. one year ago president obama vowed to go it alone if republicans in congress continued to stonewall. >> as long as i'm president, i will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum, but i intend to fight obstruction with action, and i will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place. >> the president has followed through on that threat and seems ready to double down. seven months ago he signed an executive action to stop the deportation of the children of undocumented immigrants. seven weeks ago he eased the citizenship application process for undocumented workers with close family members already living in the united states, and three weeks ago the president announced 23 executive actions on gun safety. now there are reports he is prepping a flurry of new executive actions, including mortgage relief for struggling homeowners allowing hem to refinance at lower rates, anti-discriminate protections
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for gays and lesbians who work for the government contractors and epa carbon caps on existing power plants. iowa republican senator chuck grassley is not pleased with all this action and has countered with a defense of inaction. quote, "it is a very dangerous road he's going down contrary to the spirit of the constitution. just because congress doesn't act doesn't mean the president has a right to act." eugene, it is hard for me to read that without -- i know. >> genius. >> what is he thinking? >> i'm not doing it, and you can't do it either. >> nobody should do anything any time ever. >> exactly. >> but is that the new republican prescription for what ails us? >> i guess. i guess. i mean, keep it in perspective. the -- a lot of the things a president can do. his action is limited in a lot of these spheres. for example, in giving benefits to same-sex partners. there's a defense of marriage act, and that's -- so that's congress's domain. they get to say what is and what
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isn't, but the president does have some latitude, and, look, every congress complains about every president overreaching and being a dictator. >> maybe it seems like he is overreaching, jared, because they're not doing anything. >> right. >> it's kind of like there is no leway for not to be an overreaching, sfwler sum game. >> mode of operating is inaction, so action looks very suspicious. i thought that was a peculiar kind of quote because clearly if we were clues cruising along at full employment and everything was fine, perhaps inaction would be a reasonable path. we're not. we have lots of problems in this country, and immigration, guns, and the economy. let me say one thing about the economy. the kind of things we're going to hear in the state of the union. when it comes to that executive actions are actually insufficient. >> right. >> you really need the purse strings of congress to do things that really move along jobs where. >> fermz of executive actions, there are two -- we did a little research on this. there are executive actions
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that's kind of a brought set of things, including memorandums and orders. orders send to strike the ayre of republicans in this particular congress because it sounds like the president is overreaching, but, karen, my question to you is, you know, there's this kind of pomp and circumstance about bipart sfwlanship on the night of the state of the union, you know, cats sit with dogs and dogs sit with cats and everybody pretends to get along for a second. i am worried that this thing is going to be ugly. >> i was going to say, with ted nugent in the house, i don't see cats and dogs sitting together. i think it will be the cats and the dogs. i don't think anybody -- seriously, the tone this year, you have not really heard people talk about being bipartisan in the same way you heard last year that this idea that let's sit with a buddy, right? i think, again, this is the second term of the presidency, and this is the time when presidents generally they do accelerate the executive actions and this president, you know, first term. he tried and tried and tried. much to the chagrin of many of us progress sifz to, you know, put out the olive branch and work with republicans. now he is, like, you know what,
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i'm just going to do. i'm just employing to go and do it. what they -- part of the reason i think they're criticizing it is because it further highlights how little they are getting done. i mean, that's part of why they don't like the outside game, right? >> the action reminds me of an old cartoon in rick's magazine. two dogs sitting at a bar, and one says to the other, it's not enough that we succeed, cats must fail. >> speaking of sort of -- well, to get your perspective on this, bill rut ker and ed o'keefe in the washington post today have an interesting analysis. they say obama often says that he won't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but his recent strategy reminds some long-time congressional observers of former president ronald reagan who also drew firm lines while still allowing for compromise in the end. what do you make of that? >> i'm sure obama would be pleased with that comparison. not idealogically, but in temz of effectiveness. grassley talks about executive orders, executive actions being
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against the spirit of the constitution. here's what's against the spirit of the constitution. you need 60 votes to get anything done in the senate. that is wildly unconstitutional. you can -- the house republican -- the republican house was elected by a majority of democrats because of mal appropriation. he has a real moral case to do whatever is within his power to do. >> what do you make of, eugene, boehner saying to reporters today in what is being termed a prebuttle. there are so many buttles at this point. >> a prebutt. >> boehner says i think wee like to deal with it, speaking of the president referring to fiscal problems, but to do the kind of heavy lifting that needs to be done, i don't think he's got the guts to do it." i heard that and thought this is the man whom could not get his own party to vote on a tax increase for .3% of the
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population because it's -- >> exactly. >> he has -- this is someone who has been neutered by his own party, and he is talking about -- >> he has no standing to say anything remotely like that. you know, what's interesting -- okay, this is boehner's prebutttle. is there any relationship between either of the two republican rebugtss that we're going to have afterwards? >> right. >> this is a party that's really trying to figure out who or what it is and what it believes, and i think it's just amazing that now routinely they have to have two, now three counting the pres, responses. >> this is part of their strategy of trying to say, for example, leading up to the sequester that, like, well, gee, if the president would do something. i mean, you know, their whole strategy. they think they're going to win by saying there's really nothing we can do. i guess we're just going to have to let it go. it's all up to the president. i think they realize that tonight the president will have a very sizable audience to make his case to prebutt that argument that they're going to be making over the next couple of weeks.
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>> there's a subtext to the baber quote that's very important. the president doesn't have the guts to go further on the deficit and the debt and the fiscal stuff. in fact, you're not going to hear a ton, i don't believe, about that tonight because, in fact, we have actually reduced the deficit over the next ten years by $2.5 trillion. much of that work is behind it. there's another $1.5 trillion needed stabilize the debt. once your hair stops being on fire on fiscal policy, on cut, slash, and burn. >> where is the party left? >> exactly. for republicans it's about cut, slash, and burn, although never specify what. that's the other part of the strategy. once that's off the table, the president can have a more actionary agenda, speaking to the kinds of things the people in this economy really care about. jobs, for example. >> i think it's just the operating strategy here is smoke and mirrors. it is let us get on the record. , with our sort of dismay. let us get on the record saying we are in opposition to this, but let us not have to propose
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anything measurable in terms of moving the country forward ledges laishly or many terms of policy. >> we get down to silly finger-pointing, and the mantra now is the obama sequester. >> right. >> that -- the talking point is that you can't just call it a sequester if you are republican. you have to call it the obama-quester. >> even though republicans voted for it. just by the way, right? >> right. >> and came out of it saying they got 98% of what they wanted. let me play this. this speaks to the larger problem. this is mitch mcconnell talking about the problem with democrats. let us take a listen to what he has to say. >> it goes something like this. republicans identify a challenge and propose a solution well in advance. democrats sit on their hands until the last minute, and they offer some gimmicky bill designed to fail, and then comes the final act. president obama rides in to blame know else. >> okay. rick, you could literally
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exchange the word democrat for republican and republican for democrat, and i will point out the house gop has voted 33 times to repeal obama care. talk about gimmicky bills that go nowhere. they have also called a bill calling for the resignation of attorney general eric holder. there is something they passed in the house called the homeland security respect for life act which prevents federal dollars from going to abortions and then there is another bill prohibiting the regulation of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas until china, india, and russia implement similar reductions. there's a bevy, an ocean of meaningless legislation that is designed just again -- it's part of the smoke and mirrors strategy to say these are our values, and they are sort of -- that is enough. we don't actually have to do anything to solve the nation's problems. we are just here for ideology's sake. >> it's a party that doesn't believe in government. these are the kind of bills you propose if you don't believe in government. you don't care that they have
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nothing to do with governing. you don't care that they're going nowhere. in fact, the fact that they're going nowhere is one of the big -- one of the big pluses. >> to recommend it. >> it's a selling point. now, having said that, jared, there are plenty of things that the president has outlined in past state of the unions that have actually gone nowhere whether through dint of congress or just impractical. we know he is going to talk about stimulus spending, which is contrary to the republican party. in fairness, he also tried to launch the residential mortgage backed -- i have to read the name off my card. it's such -- it's basically gone nowhere. eric schneiderman has gone and tried to make his case. he is a friend of the show. there is the infrastructure bank that he has talked about that used to have some version of bipartisan support. there is going to be a certain amount of political posturing that he will be doing in this speech. >> yes. i think what i'm taking from this conversation really is that, again, this is a terrible time for a dysfunctional gridlock government. if there ever was a good time, it's not a time when you have the problems of the magnitude
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that we have right now. all the things that you listed that the president has proposed many my view not as a democrat, but as an economist in my view are important things for the economy, and infrastructure banks, for example, that uses public and private funding to help support our decaying infrastructure. certainly stimulus spending -- yesterday janet yellin, the vice chair of the federal reserve, not a partisan, just straight down the line technician on the economy said, you know what's the biggest headwind blowing back against the economic growth right now. it's spending cuts. it's spending cuts at a time when the economy is fragile. what are we talking about now? we're literally weeks away from taking $85 billion out of the 2013 economy. so it's -- it's self-inflicted wounds. it's fiscal time bombs, gridlock, all the silliness you listed. i'm sorry. yes, the president has proposed some things that haven't gotten over the legislative goal line, but i challenge you to find one that isn't related to solving real -- a real economic problem we face. >> something tells me, jared,
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the phrase self-inflicted wounds will be repeated. it will be an oft repeated phrase. we have to take a break, but after we come back, are two heads better than one? apparently yes according to the gop and its dualing state of the union rebuttals. >> this year the inheriter of the michelle bachmann herman cain legacy will be united states senator rand paul. the official republican upons will be delivered by another guy, who we are told is a tea party senator, marco rubio, but marco rubio is giving the republican response and ran paul is giving the tea party republican response to the republican response. capisce? >> confused? so, too, may be the republican party. we'll discuss split personality disorder next on "now. "" ♪
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sfwlirchlg as tonight's designated republican ringleader florida senator marco rubio has no easy task. assigned to give the gop response to the president's state of the union, rubio's rebuttal will need to mend fences in the party's own backyard and offer a more welcoming face to those outside of it. the fundamental difficulty of projecting some sort of republican unity will be highlighted by the evening's post-rebuttal rebuttal given tonight by senator ran paul who is expected to speak for approximately five minutes or just long enough to convey to the entire country that the party is at odds with itself. to say there are forks in the road for the gop is perhaps an understatement. in a news story on buzz feed mccain coppen explores two futures for the republican party, both of which begin in south florida.
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jeb bush and marco rubio. republican strategist anna navarro calls it the nature mare scenario for everyone here and adds if she was faced with it, i would get into the fetal position and lock myself in a room for nine months. joining the panel now is newly promoted buzz feed political editor mckay. i almost called you buzz feed. welcome. why not? you are one. don't tell ben smith. you have a new story about marco, and you talked to a lot of folks in florida who say, surprisingly, actually, that he is a rising star, but that he hasn't quite gotten there yet. he is still -- i won't say an empty suit, but they're looking to see more leadership from him, which given the current state of the affairs in the republican party is not an easy lift. >> no. yeah, absolutely. it's interesting because, you know, rubio is giving the state of the union response tonight. he is on the cover of "time magazine." he is everywhere. he is having this moment, and i think for a lot of national pundits and political reporters,
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the choice between him and jeb bush would seem obvious, right? like, of course, he is the rising star. but in miami and in that kind of republican political class jeb bush is kind of a known quantity and seen as an elder statesman, whereas rubio is this baby face freshman senator who is obsessed with his image and, you know, the media coverage of hem. he has let that stabbed in the way of leading immigration reform. >> you could argue -- you could say his stance on immigration reform is the most leadership we've seen from the republican party. eugene, i keep thinking it's like -- as mccane was talking about, is the republican party sort of prison, insofar as you want to keep your head down. you don't want to make too much noise because if you do, you'll get a shiv in the back. >> well, yes. in other words, you'll get primaried. yes, right. >> or you'll get ran paul chasing your tail, you know, after you give the rebuttal to sort of -- to do what? to do what other than undermine?
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>> well, i really have no idea. why they would allow ran paul to do this. just displaying the disunity in the party whereby and the fact that it can't get its act together at the moment. it's interesting, though. rubio, the sort of savior of the party, it is possible to sit down and speak with him for an hour, an hour and a half, and think this is really impressive. this guy really has something to say. then you look at your notes afterwards, and it's not -- there's not quite as much as you thought there was. >> well, it's funny because a lot of republicans hail him as kind of the republican -- or the latino reagan is actually the term that's been thrown around. he is a great communicator, but, yeah, on substance, it not quite clear, and that's what a lot of his critics complain is that the substance isn't there. you know, is he actually -- is he actually as heavy weight as he says he is?
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>> this is part of the problem. these comparisons with obama. obama kind of followed the hillary clinton strategy of keep your head down, do the work, don't let yourself get sort of sucked into the celebrity of the fact that you are a part of the senate, but actually, you know, get some marks on the board, really do something. instead, what you see with rubio, it's like he is trying so hard to, like, be on the cover and be popular and, yet, the preview of his remarks tonight where he is talking about the correlation between the debt and unemployment, he is completely wrong or during the hearings when he was talking about foreign policy. he sounded like he had no idea how these things actually work even though the words sounded very lovely all mixed together like that. >> rick, i think part of that maybe perhaps is that you can't actually tie yourself to specific policy in the current republican party. i mean, the thing about -- the difference between barack obama and hillary clinton is that they really weren't that far apart in terms of actual policy. there were a few measurable differences that were -- a lot of hay was made out of them, but fundamentally it wasn't that the democratic party was going
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through the same sort of, you know, analysis on the couch that the republican party is. >> the point is the strategy on how each one of them sort of had this crescendo in their popularity. it wasn't -- i'm not speaking to the two, but when hillary was first in the senate, she was very careful and methodical about how she rolled herself out. same thing with barack obama. knew that he came in as a big star, but knew that he needed to prove himself. i don't think we've seen marco rubio prove himself on any substantive issue. >> give him credit, though, for standing on a stage with chuck schumer and laying out principles for immigration reform. that's more than most republicans in the senate would do. you're right. that was a framework. that was a photo op and some general principles. the question going forward is will he actually get on board with actual legislation. >> can he? ted nugent is going to be a guest at tonight's state of the union. this is a man who said if barack obama becomes the president in november again, i will be either dead or in jail by this time next year. greg sergeant makes a fair point
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in "the washington post. i on" he says the problem lies in all the over the top stuff gop lawmakers stuff that says isn't crazy enough to earn widespread condemnation, like nugent, but are still whacked out enough that helps to keep m millions of gop base voters sealed off from reality." >> ted nugent doesn't seem to keep his promises, too bad. >> many on left that would agree with you. >> the big difference between why rubio is not the latino reagan is that reagan had this long history that had made him the undisputed leader of republican conservatives, so he could afford to show a pleasant face. rubio is trying to get up on the board with immigration reform, but he is introducing himself to the country and to the party m guise of a moderate, and that's dangerous for -- he is going to have to earn his right-wing spurs somewhere along the line. >> he got where he is as a tea
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party favorite, so that's the really difficult thing he is trying to do. >> you know, can he advance and rise in the republican establishment because you need the establishment and their money and their blessing, i guess, and still retain his sort of bonifida as a tea party guy? that's very difficult to do. you end up with a lot of positions or statements that just kind of walk up to the edge of moderation, but don't quite go there. >> i think that's what this year is going to be with marco rubio. it's going to be the slow transformation or at least attempted transformation from tea party kind of grassroots leader to being an establishment figure that the party can trust. >> let me ask you, though, we saw him on the stage with chuck schumer, and that was a moment of sort of bipartisanship, and the next day he is on the rush limbaugh show because he still feels like he needs to prove his conservative -- >> that was strategic because he has to sell immigration reform to the republican base.
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you know, the house, let alone the republican senate, is nott going to go along with immigration reform unless you have a conservative republican constantly selling it to them, and that's kind of the role that he has played. >> the very challenge that rubio, though, is going to have in terms of trying to keep himself shored up on the far right while trying to appeal what seemed like a reasonable person in the middle, that is exactly the problem the republican party has. he is a metaphor for the problem that the party has, and watching him try to do that, i think, is, again, what we're seeing the republican party, you know, fold itself out to be. you have him. he is going to talk about obama's government centered approach. that was the romney talking points. guess what, didn't work. right? >> yeah. you have to freshen it up. >> if mitt romney knew how to communicate like marco rubio, he might have done better. >> i'm sure ran paul will help him with that. >> the great communicator. before we let you go, how much of -- how much did in your speaking with rubio did you sense the internal conflict within him about the sort of the fork in the road for his party? >> you know, i think that he
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understands that this is a time for soul searching. like, he is not going to say that, obviously, but when we -- we had him down in washington at a big buzz feed event where we interviewed him, and, you know, the way he talked about some of these issues like, you know, climate change, like gay rights, you could tell that he wasn't willing to actually go there and give, you know, a moderate answer, but his tone was, like, straining to debt there. you know? that's kind of going to be the dance that he is doing for the next year or so. >> it's a tough leash to be on, these modern days. buzz feed's newly promoted political editor mckay coppens. thank you as always. sdoo thank you very much, aleggs. >> coming up, if you can believe it, if you can believe it, _#crush rove, was not created by democrats. it came from the gop. we will look into that just ahead. my name is marjorie reyes, and i'm a chief warrant officer.
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>> money may buy you a lot of things, but it's not buying karl rove much love. we will examine bush's brain and why it's being excluded from the gop mind e-mailed next on "now." [ male announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align. ♪ need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's a probiotic that fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7. because your insides set the tone. stay in the groove with align. because your insides set the tone. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them.
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behold water so blue it merges with the sky above. behold natural beauty above the sea, and far below. behold smiles so wide they stretch across the face of an entire nation. behold...the islands of the bahamas. the party enmeshed in a civil war. two state of the union responses and now two super pacts. the washington post reports that the nation's largest tea party organization is launch agnew federal political action committee tea party patriots citizens fund. its goal? to beat back efforts by karl rove and his conservative victory project to bankroll establishment candidates and primary campaigns, but will an
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arms race help either side? the "new york times" nate silver pour over the data from recent republican senate primaries and found that the ininsurgentent candidate won 11 of 23 races despite being out raised often by huge sums. money is usually the least pressing problem for the income bepts and other establishment backed candidates who mr. rove's group might be inclined to support. instead, some insurgent kadz won the races despite having been at more than a on 10-1 fundraising disadvantage heading into the primary. tea party supporters are also pointing to rove's not exactly formidable track record. a review by the sunlight foundation found his two cross roads group despite spending $170 million in 2012 managed just a 1.3% and 14.4% winning percentage in they are targeted races. rove is already feeling the backlash. movement conservatives have lined up to pile on the program. rove's efforts have even spawned
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_#crush rove. in iowa ground zero for the civil war within the gop, radio host steve dace summed it up. we are at a point where you are almost better off in a republican party being endorsed by barack obama than cav roller. he is the reverse midas." >> that just sings the hair. to say that barack obama is more useful to your party than karl rove would seem fairly -- i was making this point earlier talking to no one in particular, the bushes that have come out of the wood work lately. condi rice talking about doing an immigration reform project. colin powell saying there's a dark vein of intolerance in the party. karl rove saying maybe electing crazy is not the best strategy for the party. have been cut down basically by members of their own party. >> we're seeing the infighting very clearly now. i think to me, at any rate, as
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someone who looks at all this from the policy percent penkt, what you really are seeing is a party that does really two things. one, when they don't like the numbers, they make them up, and, the other is they infight. what they're not doing and what i think colin powell in particular is pushing them towards and condi rice, some of the martyr folks are pushing them towards, that what they're needing to do is they about what the american people need to hear if their political parties right now because we have one party that's struggling to get its message through, the democrats on the economy, on emgregs, on guns. another party that's engaged in all this that you are just describing. again, i said this earlier. i'll say it again now. we are not a country at a moment where a political party can engage in this kind of enfighting. it's not what the country needs. it needs strong policy. stwloo yet, when you have karl rove out there saying i will
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take my septer and wield it and it has stoked the a wr re of base conservatives, and now have the opposite affect, which is steve king, one of the people that karl rove has mentioned, is now fundraising from this. they are now, as i said, alternate super pacts to get tea party sit sfwlenz elected into office. >> all right. tea party patriots at that. >> patriots. >> how do you get the dee party to behave like they're good old republicans, and that's the question for the establishment. rove is trying. others will try persuasion. they haven't figured out how to do it, and remaining this sort of roguish problem inside the republican party sfwloosh here's the thing. this is the chickens coming home to roost because it was karl rove who, specialized in anger points, right? that was his whole strategy. you pick an issue like, you
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know, gays and lesbians, gay marriage, immigration. you create an enemy. we're all against them. right? health care. you create this discord, and he tried to control it. no, you can't control it. if he were the establishment of the republican party, i would not only be mad that i rays wasted air ton of money on this guy, but he sold them a bill of goods. he basically said, hey, this is going to be the permanent republican majority. we just do this. without even seeing it, that's not realistic to where this country is going. >> i would also think there's a silver lining here, i think, which is that money doesn't necessarily buy you elections. that is -- those are staggering statistics. almost $200 million spent. 1.3%. those are not great odds, and what it says to me is you actually to v to have a message. people need to believe in something to go to the polls and pull the lever for you. >> this is a symptom, this
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rove -- this gang up on rove is a symptom of a real actual split within the republican party. you had these establishment republicans for many years who have kind of gotten away with playing lip service to the social conservative agenda. obviously most of these people are probably secretly pro-choice, and at least in some circumstances. they can get away with it because republican women, nice republican ladies in the suburbs knew that the supreme court was going to protect them so they could vote for somebody who said he was pro-life, and the gay stuff, that was a no-brainer for many years because it was unpopular. there's a real concern -- >> so this coalition between the economic loyalists and the social conservatives is cracking up. >> i will say on the issue of, you know, women's health care, there is a deep concern among, i think, independent women that, hey, maybe these guys are kind of serious about overturning roe
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v. wade. maybe they don't believe. it's want a choice. now it's basic contraception. there's a sneaking suspicion that has been given a real platform here that this may actually be what they will do when elected to office, and i would say in iowa where steve king is going to be making his bid, it seems, eugene, we have a little list of steve king notable quotables. he is the person -- he is the person that is running for senate who said that president obama favors the black person. he has called illegal immigration a slow motion terrorist attack, and he has spoken about the need for an electric fence on the southern border because we do this with livestock all the time. now, you tell me how you run on those three things and serve -- i mean, how have you served this country thinking those things let alone sane. >> newt gingrich and -- i have things to say about newt gingrich over the years, but
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that they said something that was right. he said there's something we don't get about this country. there's something we're not understanding about the way the country is now, and what we need to do is figure that out. then move forward. he seems to have drifted off into other directions, but that was the key -- that is what the republican party should be doing. learning about the country. >> you know, the tenor of our conversation is a little bit like as if there's no base for those kinds of sentiments to appeal to, and i think that's wrong. i think one of the scary things is that people will elect demon straightably politician that is maybe those comments. not a majority. but enough. >> if you have done redistrict, you can keep a pretty good majority. >> a good majority of the republican party, if that makes
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them -- and if you are a congressman in some right wing district in iowa, that's what you care about. >> let me say something, jared. in terms of, you know, where the party goes from here, i think you brought up a really interesting point earlier in the show, which is that if the president were to strike a deal with republicans on fiscal concerns, on tax reform, on the debt and deficit, it would effectively take the only quiver that moderate establishment republicans have left within their own party. i mean, where would they go if the party then was just left to the social conservative? >> i think it's a great point. i think one of the things -- >> you made it. it is a great point. >> when you take away the fess cal hair on fire point that we were megabefore, what's underneath that? what's left? i guess you have marco rubio kind of making some positive sounds on immigration, but beneath that, i mean, he is
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really pretty indistinguishable from some of the problematic policies we were just talking about. i really do think the problem is that republicans have been so focused on infighting, on negativity, on all the things we've been talking about. they literally have not thought about social economic foreign policy with any depth for at least a decade. >> and won't play ball on it because it also -- >> they don't have any idea. they're bereft. >> i think they've thought about it, but they're convinced that just by trying to convince the rest of us, women, you're crazy. there's no war on women, right? by trying to convince us to believe their version of reality, which i guess at one point in time worked. bush got us into a war. we all thought he was telling the truth, right? what they're not realizing is people aren't buying it anymore. the themes that the president was talking about, you know, of course they laebled it as this aggressive president. pretty mainstream stuff, frankly, in the inaugural address. pretty mainstream stuff he is going to be talking about tonight in terms of where the country is and our values are.
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a majority of americans actually agree with the things that he is talking about. >> i don't know, karen. once you start establishing infrastructure banks, next thing you know you turn around and you are swedish. >> watch out. >> real talk. >> anyway -- best education in the world right now sfwloosh great furniture. >> coming up, we're talking about international affairs in the next block. north korea is conducting a nuclear test while president obama prepares to withdraw tens of thousands of troops from afghanistan. meanwhile, the man who would inherit these challenges, defense secretary nominee chuck hagel faces a potential filibuster battle. we will discuss the hagel haggle just hadded. [ male announcer ] ok, here's the way the system works. let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much you think. except it's 2% every year. does that make a difference? search "cost of financial advisors" ouch. over time it really adds up.
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ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. good arm. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. as the armed services committee gets set to vote on his nomination, defense
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secretary chuck hagel faces the looming threat of a filibuster, but is the real challenge to hagel's confirmation the 2014 midterms? we will explain next. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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this afternoon chuck hayingel are receive a vote in committee in advance of a full confirmation vote in the senate on wednesday or thursday. at prept hayingel is facing rumors of republican senators walking out during the committee vote, gop threats to filibuster his confirmation in the senate, and this morning some sniping from one dick cheney. >> with respect to chuck hagel and brennan, defense and cia, just in the last week their performance in front of the committees that have to be determined is pretty poor. you look at what the president's
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desire for picking chuck hagel, i think he wants a republican to go and be the foil, if you will, for what he wants to do in the defense department, which is either do serious, serious damage to our military capabilities. >> wheel party elders and gop senators raise contain on the sidelines, hagel may have his mind on more important matters. namely, the announcement of a third underground nuclear test in north korea this morning, a development that would constitute an actual concern for any future secretary of defense. any other piece on the ridiculousness of the hagel haggle as we called it, and the hill today given what's happening on the international stage. we're talking about filibustering a cabinet which has never been done before would seem to be a misuse of one's time in the senate. >> particularly when you consider that over the weekend -- this is just sunday -- lindsey graham said that no confirmation of that information, and he said i want to know who changed the talking points from benghazi. that is what this is about for him. who cares about the talking
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points at this point? we have all of these things going on. he made the comparison to john bolton, which suggests that there's still some grudges going on against democrats. these guys have long memories against each other on this kind of stuff, and at least the bolton there were legitimate questions about potential misuse of intelligence information. there were real serious questions. also, he had a disdain for the u.n. you know, joe biden kind of said, you know, i'm not really for voting for people for jobs that they are not really pour. >> chuck hagel said let's close the defense department, and also, please, can i be the secretary? >> saxby chambliss doing a delicate tango. he said he would be surprised see a filibuster. it wouldn't be the first time i have been surprised. >> that's supposed to be -- we don't really know what's going to happen. >> i still think it's -- in the end remind me of what we're all hagel played in benghazi?
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it's just -- this is even for the republican party this is pretty -- this is a pretty big reach, i think. if they want to argue about hagel's confirmation hearing, if they want to argue that there was something in that hearing that he said about being defense secretary, that somehow disqualifies him, then they can make that argument. >> instead it's how much money did you make on speeches that you gave nearly a decade ago? >> all that stuff needs to be looked into, you know, income and you want to know who is in whose pocket, et cetera, et cetera, but i think those questions were baseless. >> they asked for above and beyond what has ever been asked before previously. >> yes. >> that's part of carl levin's point. >> the theme of our show today -- is gridlock a dysfunction? this is a pretty important example. i think the north korea is exactly right. i mean, if anybody is paying attention to this confirmation, i have to believe that they
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really need to hear what our potential defense secretary is thinking about the real issue that he or she will have to deal with. get it out. get them doing it in the back ground, but in the confirmation, actually let's talk about what really -- >> substantive matters. speaking of which, we just got new video of president obama. here is what he told reporters outside the white house just moments ago. listen to this. >> mr. president, how is the speech? >> we'll find out tonight. >> what about north korea? >> we'll find out -- we'll find out everything i've got to say tonight. enjoy the great weather. >> we'll find out everything tonight. >> what a scoop. how did you get that? >> yeah, exactly. before we go, what would you most like to hear the president say? to address this evening. >> oh, i would like to see him call for the elimination of the filibuster, which will not happen in a million years and would not be good political advice, but that's the one thing we could do to make this country a better place to live.
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>> indeed it is. we will be waiting eagerly to see what the president speaks of tonight, and you will be writing a comment to "the new york other "coming up in the next week, and i'm sure all of us will be weighing in. >> i'll read that. >> i will be pontificating and making no sense. we have to leave it there. thank you to the panel today. rick, eugene, jared, and karen. that is all for now. see you tomorrow live from our nation's capital at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific with full reaction to the state of the union. i'll be joined by professor michael eric dyson, and sam stein, the bbc's candy kay and our own charles chuck todd. until then, you can find us at facebook.com/now with alec. andrea mitchell reports is coming up next. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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